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March 22, 2013

Standard Chartered Chairman Retracts Comments on Sanctions Settlement With U.S.

John W. Peace, chairman of the British bank Standard Chartered, on Thursday retracted statements about the bank’s recent settlement with American authorities over violations of sanctions laws.

Last year, Standard Chartered, which has large operations in emerging markets, agreed to a combined $667 million fine as part of a settlement with federal and state authorities, a deal that included a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Authorities claimed that Standard Chartered had illegally processed millions of dollars’ worth of transactions for Iranian and Sudanese clients, and the bank admitted to “falsifying records” and “making false statements.”

But in a conference call about the bank’s annual earnings report on March 5, Mr. Peace referred to the transactions as “clerical errors,” adding that “we had no willful act to avoid sanctions.”

In a brief statement on Thursday, he retracted his comments, and reiterated the bank’s responsibility for the criminal activity related to the illegal money transactions.



Read full New York Times article here

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